'It's on': Philippines' Converge says talks with Elon Musk's SpaceX Starlink ongoing

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2021 12:11 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2021 12:23 PM

'It's on': Philippines' Converge says talks with Elon Musk's SpaceX Starlink ongoing 1
Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites to orbit. Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable. From the SpaceX official Instagram Page

MANILA - Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions Inc said Friday it has conducted "several talks" with officials of Elon Musk's SpaceX for its Starlink broadband satellite internet technology.

SpaceX's Starlink is a low-orbit satellite system which aims to deliver high-speed broadband internet service to remote areas. SpaceX has deployed over a thousand satellites into orbit, reports said.

Musk's technology will provide faster connection since the satellites are in low orbit and will be able to serve places unreachable by fiber technology, Converge co-founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy told ANC. 

"We continue to look for new technologies to bring high speed internet service to Filipinos, which is including SpaceX," Uy said. 

Asked whether or not the deal was progressing, Uy said: "It's on."

Starlink will "complement" Converge's fiber technology which is already in place, Uy said. Once a subscriber has fiber, there's no need for the low-orbit technology, he added.

However, more stations have to be placed in the Philippines for the technology to work. If, in case, SpaceX agrees to work with Converge, it will take time to set up the technology, he said.

"We are looking at this for end-to-end, all segments of society," Uy said.

Broadband operator Converge eyes reaching 55 percent of residential households in the country. It is currently strengthening its backbone in Visayas and Mindanao, Uy earlier said. 

On Thursday, Converge reported that its net income after tax reached P3.38 billion in 2020 from P1.94 billion in 2019.

Converge in 2018 withdrew its bid to become the country's third telco player, citing that conditions for its participation were "commercially unviable." 

-- with a report from Reuters

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